Pedigree fun facts: 2016 Breeders’ Cup Friday edition

Profile Picture: Kellie Reilly

November 4th, 2016

Dirt Mile contender Point Piper is the third Breeders' Cup starter for his dam..

I stumbled upon some interesting pedigree factoids in looking up the female lines of Breeders’ Cup contenders, using Product 750 (catalog-style page) on

In the Juvenile Turf (G1), Lancaster Bomber is a half-brother to Excelebration, the perennial runner-up to Frankel who was a multiple 1-winning highweight in his own right. That didn’t transfer to Santa Anita, where he was fourth to Wise Dan in the 2012 Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

Made You Look counts as his second dam the Hall of Famer and prolific broodmare Serena’s Song. Among her descendants is Noble Tune, runner-up in the 2012 Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita, and champion Honor Code, third to American Pharoah in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1).

Ticonderoga is out of millionaire Keertana, the near-miss third in the 2010 Filly & Mare Turf (G1). Keertana is herself by Johar, who famously dead-heated with High Chaparral on this course in the 2003 Turf (G1).

Oscar Performance is a full brother to Oscar Nominated, a top chance in Friday’s nightcap, the Twilight Derby (G2). Could we see a sibling double?

Turning to the Dirt Mile (G1), Point Piper will elevate his dam, Imagine, in the Breeders’ Cup annals. He’s the third BC starter produced by this royally bred Sadler’s Wells half-sister to Generous. Imagine’s previous BC runners were Point Piper’s full brother Viscount Nelson, eighth in the 2009 Juvenile Turf, and Red Rock Canyon, sixth as the pacemaker in the 2008 Turf. That trio isn’t even the best offspring of Imagine. Her first foal was ill-fated Horatio Nelson a Group 1-winning juvenile who suffered a fatal injury in the 2006 Derby (G1) at Epsom. Had he lived, Horatio Nelson would have been a likely BC type for trainer Aidan O'Brien.

Vyjack, of course, is the half-brother to defending Mile champion Tepin. Vyjack’s sire, Into Mischief, is himself a half-brother to triple Eclipse winner Beholder, who seeks history in the Distaff (G1).

Gun Runner’s dam is a half-sister to 2005 Classic star and Horse of the Year Saint Liam. Juvenile Fillies Turf runner Lull can boast the same – their dams are likewise half-sisters, making Lull and Gun Runner “cousins.”

The Juvenile Fillies Turf is replete with other Breeders’ Cup pedigree angles. Intricately is out of a half-sister to Rock of Gibraltar, the beaten favorite in the 2002 Mile. But Intricately brings a human pedigree story too, being trained by Joseph O’Brien and ridden by his brother Donnacha – both sons of Rock of Gibraltar’s trainer, Aidan O’Brien.

Speaking of Aidan, his Roly Poly is out of past trainee Misty for Me, a four-time Group 1-winning highweight who was a creaming third in the 2011 Filly & Mare Turf.

New Money Honey is out of a full sister to Any Given Saturday, sire of defending Turf Sprint champion Mongolian Saturday and Classic contestant Hoppertunity.

The second also-eligible who drew in, Sweeping Paddy, is a full to Preakness (G1) runner-up Cherry Wine.

Aside from Beholder’s being a half-sister to Into Mischief, a couple of other Distaff factoids caught my eye. Daily Racing Form’s Nicole Russo pointed out that Stellar Wind and Tepin descend from the same ancestress, the War Admiral mare Gallant Nurse.

Distaff longshot Land Over Sea is a half-sister to Classic longshot War Story. Both competed in last year’s Breeders’ Cup, with Land Over Sea finishing seventh in the Juvenile Fillies (G1) and War Story checking in eighth in the Dirt Mile.

By showing up again, they’ve made their dam, the Pulpit mare Belle Watling, emulate Whakilyric, whose sons Hernando and Johann Quatz both contested the 1993-94 Breeders’ Cups.

Stay tuned for more pedigree fun facts for Breeders’ Cup Saturday.

Point Piper photo by Cecilia Gustavsson/